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Are you feeling down, constipated, or overweight? Is your blood pressure or blood sugar a little high? Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? The solution might be as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day.
A walk might seem like child’s play compared to running a marathon or competing in CrossFit, but a walk can be a very healthy alternative if you lack the time or interest in exercising intensely.
Humans were built for walking, and some health experts believe that the chair was the worst invention ever created. You can do a lot to enhance your health by standing up and taking a walk.
Now let us discover and enjoy the many benefits of a daily walk:
10 Benefits of a Daily Walk
Natural Mood Enhancer
Regular walking enhances the natural release of endorphins which stimulate relaxation and improve your mood. These chemicals work by interacting with receptors in your brain to reduce the perceptions of pain and give feelings of well-being.
So, if you are currently not getting enough exercise, a walk is a simple way to fill that void. Getting out of the house and breathing a little fresh air is bound to enhance your mood and outlook on life.
Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that builds and maintains strong bones and is an excellent exercise. Not only it improves your bone health, but it also increases your muscle strength, coordination, and balance which in turn helps to prevent falls and related fractures, and improve your overall health.
Hip fractures are reduced in postmenopausal women that walk for at least 30 minutes each day.
Enjoy Better Sleep
Those that walk report a lower incidence of insomnia. Yes, taking more steps during the day may be related to better sleep at night, according to an encouraging new study of lifestyle and sleep patterns. The study, which delved into the links between walking and snoozing, suggests that being active can influence how well we sleep, whether we exercise or not.
Therefore, if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, the solution might be as simple as a daily walk.
Improves Heart Health
Studies have found that your risk of developing diabetes or suffering a stroke is reduced significantly. Thirty minutes of walking is all you need each day to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%. A stroll can also lower your blood pressure.
Surely a delight that with every step, walking offers benefits and is one of the best exercises for heart health. It can improve your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and energy levels, plus it can fight weight gain to improve heart health overall.
Improves Gastrointestinal Function
If you suffer from constipation, a walk can work wonders for your issue.
A brisk walk stimulates your digestive tract to contract, allowing the passage of food and waste through your intestines. This makes for more regular bowel movements and less gas and bloating throughout your gastrointestinal tract. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of walking 3 to 5 times a week to start.
Develops a Positive Habit
Walking tends to start and end your day in a good mood and can be a positive addition to your routine. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can also help you live a healthier life. When we walk in the morning, we are quickly activating our body’s systems.
Establish a morning walk as your new daily routine. It is the best exercise. It is fresh and free from pollution. It keeps us fit and fresh throughout the day. The most successful people have routines. You are more likely to experience success if you can maintain positive routines in your life.
Aids Weight Loss
The good news is that if you increase your physical activity without increasing your caloric intake, you can expect to drop a few pounds. So, if you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn about 150 more calories a day. Of course, the more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you will burn.
Even if you do not lose weight, you may experience a shift in your weight that allows your tight clothing to fit much more comfortably.
Walking Improves Brain Health
According to BrainMD, Walking daily can increase levels of a critical protein in the brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Greater BDNF in the brain supports structural remodeling and growth synapses after learning, which helps to improve cognitive function and make your brain more resilient.
Older seniors that walk daily have a 50% decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Boosts Your Creativity
Aristotle, Dickens, Beethoven, and many other great thinkers often walked when they were deep in thought. Science itself has confirmed that walking awakens a person’s creative side. A Stanford University study revealed that walking can improve one’s creative output by up to 60%.
It is not surprising that those who walk are more creative than those that sit. Having a challenge at work or at home? You are more likely to find the solution during a nice, long walk.
Every 2,000 steps a day could help keep premature death at bay. For every 2,000 steps you take each day, your risk for premature death may fall by 8 to 11 percent, according to research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Those that spend more time on their feet have been shown to live longer than those that spend too much time sitting each day. So, get up on your feet and go for a walk if you want to extend your life. It has been suggested that a daily walk adds 3-7 years of life.
Walking for Good Health
Walking is free, low-impact, and simple to do. There’s no new skill to learn and no equipment to purchase. Unlike many other forms of exercise, walking can be done by those with weight issues and those with no athletic ability whatsoever. Just put on your shoes and get out the door.
Most people will agree that a ten-to-twenty-minute walk in the air is a great way to clarify your thoughts and put your problems into perspective. One aspect of walking that is under-appreciated is how much it can enhance your creativity. Studies have shown that spending as little as an hour a week in a natural area can have a positive influence on creativity.
New ideas, thoughts, and emotions often surface during a walk. Be sure to write these down immediately after your walk. Walking gets you away from the crowds. Studies have shown that 80% of people stay within 300 yards of their vehicle, so by going that extra distance you will quickly get into quieter, less disturbed areas.
A walk is also a great way to share valuable time with family, friends, and colleagues. Rather than always going out on your own, ask someone to join you. Next time you have a meeting why not take it outdoors? You may well find that the fresh air will help you think outside the box and inspire greater creativity.
I encourage you to consider the many health benefits that walking provides. Going for a walk can do a lot more for your health and outlook on life than a gym membership that is rarely used. It’s much less expensive, too.